Message from Dr. Mario Molina on Earth Day, Climate Change and COVID-19
Wednesday, April 23, 2020 | Mexico City
Society is going through a though time with the coronavirus crisis. What scientists recommend is to stay at home, and if you must step out, do so using a face mask, keeping a safe distance amongst each other.
We know this Pandemic will have very strong impacts in
the world economy. As it turns out, the scientific community agrees that we are
facing another global emergency, namely climate change. In contrast to the
coronavirus crisis, we don’t have to act in a matter of days or weeks, but we
can no longer wait another decade, because the impacts to society could be
terrible if we don’t take the necessary measures soon enough. Today in
particular, on Earth Day, we must recognize this global emergency.
What does Science tell us? Quite
clearly the message is that there is an enormous risk that the global climate will
change practically irreversibly in a couple of decades to another much warmer
climate, which would have extremely negative consequences for the majority of
the world population, including fatal consequences for a large part of society.
There could be torrential rains in some areas, and permanent droughts in others,
which would cause vast migrations, with disastrous outcomes.
Fortunately, experts in
these issues -scientists, economists, lawyers, sociologists, etc.- all agree
that we can prevent these catastrophes if we take the necessary measures during
the next few years at the latest: we have to drastically reduce green house gas
emissions from fossil fuel use, because these are the gases responsible for
changing the climate. Furthermore, we have to protect forests, because they
help to maintain the current climate, which is favorable for civilization. And
all this can be done practically without sacrifices, that is, through measures
which improve the economy and well-being of society. We already have the
necessary technologies, such as sustainable energy production at very
reasonable costs, and we have the expectation that society will continue to develop
favorable and efficient technologies.
How do we achieve all this?
By strengthening the actions set by the “Paris Agreement”, for which we need
the collaboration of most heads of state, and of a vast portion of global
society, including large businesses. Fortunately, we already have the support
of younger generations worldwide; they are the ones who would have to pick up
the pieces and face the probable damaging consequences of climate change caused
by the lack of action of current generations.
What is important t is that
there is a highly feasible and successful way in which we might confront the
climate emergency that we face today. We have to collaborate globally;
fortunately, we have an example, namely the Montreal Protocol, that demonstrates
how this may be achieved: it is an international agreement that successfully confronted
the global threat of depletion of the ozone layer which protects our planet.
So, let´s celebrate today, Earth Day, by working together in order to effectively face the climate change problem.
-Dr. Mario Molina